Double Play: “Legitimate Rape &…Augusta National Shows Its Feminine Side

It’s time to Break It Down!

5th Anniversary Edition


Tempest fugit (Time Flies)!  Monday was another significant milestone in the life and development of “Break It Down!”  I initiated this blog August 20, 2007, on a lark…almost a dare.  That was Five years (and 268 editions) ago.  Having related the story several times over the past several years, I will not repeat the details today.

I will note that on that summer’s eve, I contemplated, in 5paragraphs, the experience, in reality the lack thereof, of then Senator Barack Obama, as he navigated the early stages of his historic Presidential Campaign.  The prodigiousparameters of that history were not evident at the time.  To be sure, over the next 14 ½ months, he bested the odds and won not only the DemocraticNomination, but the Presidency.  In so doing, my lack of conviction, and that of many others in Mr. Obama’s ability to claim the nation’s biggest political prize was laid bare as a patently errant assessment.

Briefly, before moving on to the gist of today’s topics, I want to make one more note about the blog.  Effective this issue, I am rolling out a new host site; WordPress.  The link,  is simpler and more straightforward than the Blogger (Blogspot) link,  The site design and presentation at Word Press, while still under construction, is cleaner, less busy than the one at Blogger.  Please note, while Break It Down! may eventually migrate exclusively to WordPress, the blog will remain available at both sites for the foreseeable future..

Having established that evolutionary developments of the blog, fast forward five years and we find ourselves on the cuspsof yet another Presidential Election;76 days and counting.  As the Republicanand Democratic Conventions convene over the next two weeks, we will emerge after Labor Day in what is considered the traditional “heat of the campaign.”

But lest we get ahead of ourselves, this week has proven huge in generating big picture, thematic issues; particularly as it relates to women and their views.  Two in particular that stand out are:

  1. Missouri     Representative Todd Akin made a controversial statement using the term     “legitimate rape”
  2. The     venerable Augusta National Golf Club, home to The Masters, announced the     admission of its first two female members, former Secretary of State,     Condoleezza Rice, and South Carolina businesswoman, Darla Moore

For different reasons, both of these events have significant implications, and the potential to alter theirrespective landscapes.  In the first case, the story is largely of a political nature.  It developed suddenly, and with great fury.

It appears Mr. Akin’s untimely and untoward comments resulted in unsettling the Republican establishment, just at the time when the Party is attempting to consolidate its message in preparation for the National Convention, which begins Monday in Tampa, Florida.

Republicanmainstays from Mitt Romney, presumed Presidentialnominee, to Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee Chair, to Scott Brown, GOP Senator from Massachusettshave all asked, encouraged, or suggested that Akin, a candidate for the contested Senate seat in Missouri, step aside.  Yesterday at 5:00 p.m. was the deadline for the Congressman to simply withdraw without additional costs and legal wrangling.

Undoubtedly Mr. Akin heard the cries; just as clearly he declined. In the interim, he has apologized, and asked forgiveness. Despite the appeals of almost everyone in the GOP holding any official capacity, he has indicated he will cast his lot with the voters who elected him in the Primary.  A number of analysts believe he will still opt out next month prior to the second deadline (September 25th), if for no other reason; because all official funding sources have evaporated.  He is in effect, politically radioactive.
In short, I view this as an amazing development.  In the wake of recent shootings in Coloradoand Wisconsin, the GOP (and the NRA) have cited chapter and verse the irreducibleprotections of the Second Amendment.  In short the right to bear arms gets translated into the right for Americans to shoot other Americans.
But what of the First Amendment?  Does Mr. Akin lose his right to freedom of speechjust because he spoke stupidly, or irresponsibly, or unscientifically?  Methinks not. Rather, I believe, his former allies abandoned him not for the high-minded principle of Constitutional purity, but because in light of his gauche faux pas and noxious commentary, the GOP’sconfidence that it can win Missouri’s contested Senate seat is compromised.

Suffice it to say, the fact thatMr. Akin had the occasion to have co-sponsored a bill with now Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan that included the language forcible rape,” is also a point of grave concern. As the Party attempts to escape the Kryptonite that is Akin, the last thing it needs, wants, or feels it can tolerate, is to have the Number 2 guy on the Ticket irrevocably tied to a man who is now by most accounts viewed universally in GOP circles as a pariah. This situation is one that bears watching in the coming weeks.

In the second instance, the story has been developing, building, and marinatingfor a decade.  In 2002, Martha Burk initiated a protest of Augusta National.  The action was a catalyst that would eventually lead to the Club producing the 2003 Masters without commercials, as a number of sponsors declined to support the event.

Augusta National is without question one of the most famous golf courses in America, founded by one of the most successful golfers in ever, Bobby Jones.  The 18-hole course is the home of the Masters; one of the preeminent rites of passage for spring time.

The Club, like many has a long history of various forms of exclusivity(AKA discrimination), admitting its first black in 1990.  Long time Chairman of the Club, and of the Masters,Clifford Roberts is quoted as having once said, “As long as I’m alive, all the golfers will be white and all the caddies will be black.”

In deed, Lee Elder was the first African American to play the Masters, doing so in 1975. For the record, Robertscommitted suicide at Augusta Nationalin 1977.  He had been ill for several months.  There is no word that there was any correlation between Robert’s death and Elder’s having played in the Masters. However, in what is a notable development, Augusta National did not invite its first black to become a member until 1990.

That the Augusta National chose to invite two females to accept membership Monday, the same day Mr. Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments hit the airways was an ironic Daily Double,”of a twist.  Arguably, just more evidence the universe unfolds in a way as to seek balance; Thumbs-up for Augusta National, Thumbs-down for Todd Akin.
Read my blog anytime by clicking the link: A new post is published each Wednesday. For more detailed information on a variety of aspects relating to this post, consult the links below:!/content/26588/akin_legitimate_rape_fallout?coverpage=1511,29259/

2 thoughts on “Double Play: “Legitimate Rape &…Augusta National Shows Its Feminine Side

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